Friday, June 19, 2009

Home Sweet Hood

Last fall, we made the move to our new town. While it is still close enough to our Los Angeles friends and family to be only a moderately annoying 30-ish minute commute, it is in many ways, a different planet.

Our old place was in a typical Los Angeles overlap neighborhood. Two blocks to the east were gorgeous multi-million dollar homes. Two blocks to the west were low income housing units. To the north a series of Sikh ashrams and to the south a really good Kosher bagel bakery. We floated in a no-man’s land of expensive, speeding cars and 24 hour police helicopters. There was a lot going on.

Our notable neighbors were:

Nextel Guy – He screamed obscenities into his speaker phone as he paced our block every weekday afternoon at 4pm. We think he lived in the alley. This was never confirmed.

Meth Lady – She walked her dogs every day and goaded them into fighting the corner house dogs through the tall wooden fence, while yelling, “That’s right! Get ‘em! Tear ‘em up!”

Weird Michael - A Persian gentleman in his mid 50s. He drove a baby blue early model Datsun 280-Z and by our best estimates was running a brothel from the empty side of his duplex.

We don’t miss any of them so much.

There are many reasons why we picked our new town to be our home; nice neighborhoods, great schools, slower pace, and less expensive rent. For those reasons, we were excited to make the move. What we were not prepared for were our new neighbors.

Miss Caroline - Our neighbor across the street. She came to our door, shortly after we moved in, introduced herself and her middle-school aged children and gave us a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Miss Belva and Miss Mary – These sisters in their 70s live next door with their two small dogs. Upon hearing from me that while they weren’t home, our dog Daisy had dug under the fence and let herself into their house through the dog door, Miss Mary said, “Let her in any time she wants to play!”

Mr. John – A gent who lives across the way with his wife and 90-something year-old mother-in-law. He dresses exclusively in blue and knows all of the facts related to our street’s drainage easement situation. On Easter, he left a candy filled Easter basket on our doorstep for our son Bob.

When we woke up Christmas morning, our porch looked like, well, Christmas morning. There were cards and bags of cookies and sweets from various neighbors on our block. If we were to move, I know we would miss them. (And we’d miss the neighbors too.)


  1. That sounds like a fabulous new neighborhood!

  2. them's are people that know value when they see it

  3. Wow, and I thought I had a great neighborhood! I think yours has mine beat, because no one has ever left us cards and bags of cookies and sweets on Christmas morning! (but, then again, we're always out of town on Christmas, so maybe they DO leave them, but then someone comes along and steals them!).

  4. If my neighbors didn't read my blog, I'd post about them. My flavor of suburbia has a nice cross between what you have now and what you had then. Let's just say something like big time Peeping Tom problem with her video camera and SLR, woman who very probably suffers from Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, the nice couple who cringes every time their gay son comes over dressed in drag (complete with fishnet stockings), and, of course, that crazy lady on the corner who shares too much of her life on the internet (that's me).

  5. Even though I've lived in LA for almost 2 decades, I still subscribe to the NYC Good Neighbor policy:

    "Don't know thy neighbors"

    But yours sound nice. Enjoy!

  6. I love that I've found you. We experienced the SAME thing last summer when we moved 30 minutes out of Chicago to an Indiana Suburb. I feel like life in the burbs is as much as an "adventure" as city living. Glad you are enjoying your new surroundings.

  7. woah wow so you dont have to move 3000 miles away to get out of l.a.? good to know good to know

  8. Um, hilarious. I have experienced the same thing just moving a few miles away in Indianapolis (Tameville compared to LA). In our first apartment there were crazy ladies on crack (literally) shouting expletives and being hauled away by police outside of our apartment every other weekend. We now live next door to a sweet old piano teacher named Charlotte who adores my kids and drives a big old Cadillac.